Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has revealed how his administration will expend monetary windfalls consisting of N9.75bn refund from the Federal Government as money spent by the state for the building of the Lafia airport, as well as 15.7m USD SFTAS fund accruing to the state.
Engineer Sule made this known when he received the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe and members of the State Executive Council, on traditional Sallah homage, at his Gudi country home, on Sunday.
According to the Governor, the money will be used in building critical infrastructure such as roads and markets, particularly the completion of the Kwandere/Marke bypass started by the administration of Senator Tanko Al-makura.
Other roads to be constructed from these funds are, the Keffi road dualization, which was previously stopped for lack of funds, as well as the Adudu/Azara road.
Part of the money will also be expended in completing ongoing projects in Lafia, Akwanga, Doma and the construction of a new market in Nasarawa Town, headquarters of Nasarawa Local Government Area.
He disclosed that already he met with the contractor handling the Kwandere/Marte road with a view to reviewing the project in order to cut cost, following which it was agreed to reduce the length of the road.
The Governor pointed out that unlike previous times, when consultants were hired to retrieve such funds on behalf of the state government, no such consultants will be hired by his administration.
He assured that all the money will be judiciously utilized as he promised President Muhammadu Buhari, after the President agreed to take over the Lafia airport to be converted into a security airport by the Federal Government.
“Every penny in this money, I want to be able to account for it, I want to say this is where I spent the money. I am not giving any consultant to collect this money for me, I am doing it myself. I am the consultant.
“I promise you, A. A Sule will not take one penny out of that money. It’s not my plan, not my wish. I don’t have any need for it. It’s not my dream. I was not brought up that way. I am not going to do that. We will spend it the way it’s supposed to be spent, for the good people of Nasarawa State,” he assured.
On the SFTAS fund, which serves as encouragement to state governments fighting corruption and enhancing transparency in the use of public funds, Engineer was elated that Nasarawa State beat many other states to deserve such stupendous windfall. Kaduna State received the closest with N9.6m USD.
The program which is being sponsored by the World Bank focuses on strengthening the fiscal sustainability, transparency and accountability among the 56 states of the country.
Engineer Sule said he is not afraid to disclosed the amounts accruing to the state because his administration has nothing to hide.
“One thing that will not happen is that we will not take this money and give it to someone maybe because we like your face. It will be open. You go to the accountant general and take this money and spend. Once we finish, four years or eight years, you will come and look at our records and you will see it clearly defined,” he said.